Ars Judaica

Freedom and Slavery in the Sarajevo Haggadah

Ars Judaica (1970), 15, (1), 15–28.

Abstract

The Sarajevo Haggadah has long been known to scholars as one of the earliest medieval Jewish manuscripts and to the wider public as a symbol of tolerance and hope. Despite its fame, however, one of the most compelling features in the illuminations has yet to be explained satisfactorily: the dark-skinned female figure in the picture that illustrates the family at the Passover Seder feast. In this article I offer an analysis of the figure, one that overturns liberal modern interpretations and points instead to a more contentious medieval context.

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Author details

Cohen, Adam S.